Easily accessible from Malé, the new Picnic Park will enable Maldivian residents to enjoy family days out and interact with visitors in a lively, social setting, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
S Hotels and Resorts PCL has signed an agreement with the Maldivian government’s Ministry of National Planning, Housing & Infrastructure to develop a new public recreational area for the residents of Malé. It is part of its commitment to give back to the communities in which it operates, in line with its deep commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The new Picnic Park will be at CROSSROADS Maldives, the Indian Ocean’s first multi-island leisure destination. It is located in the Embhoodoo Lagoon, just 15 minutes from the Maldives’ congested capital city, and will be set upon three hectares of open space and fantastic facilities for up to 500 people, including 200 metres of public beach, a mosque, large gardens, multiple barbecue areas and beach huts.
Visitors will also be able to unwind and take part in a range of beach games, such as football and volleyball. Set to be opened in Q4 2022, the park will be accessible for everyone, including local people, young and old, families, visiting guests and people with limited mobility.
Easily accessible from Malé via ferry, this impressive park will enable local residents to enjoy family days out and interact in a lively, social setting. They can also combine their day of relaxation with a stroll around The Marina at CROSSROADS, an 800-metre lifestyle area with beach walks. The facilities include diverse dining options, retail stores, wellness centres, water sports, diving, kids’ clubs, and a 30-berth yacht marina.
The Maldives Discovery Centre allows guests and local visitors to learn about the country’s rich cultural heritage.
At CROSSROADS Maldives, visitors can learn all about the archipelago heritage above and beneath the waves. The Maldives Discovery Centre, which is located close to the Picnic Park, allows all ages to uncover the country’s rich culture through interactive displays and see how local arts and crafts have shaped its unique identity.
The Marine Discovery Centre is dedicated to protecting the Maldives’ precious underwater ecosystems through important initiatives such as coral propagation and breeding programmes. Following the completion of the Picnic Park, the centre’s marine biologist will host regular talks on key issues such as climate change and zero waste to educate society about the importance of conservation.
The Picnic Park reflects S Hotels & Resorts’ deep commitment to improving people’s lives in the destinations in which it operates. Malé is one of the most densely populated cities globally, and its limited space means that there are few public places for residents to relax. The Picnic Park will alleviate this problem and create an important new social hub for families and friends to relax together and mingle with tourists.
It is an excellent example of S Hotels & Resorts’ pledge to integrate the UN’s SDGs into every aspect of its operations, including SDG11, “Sustainable Cities & Communities”, and SDG14, “Life Below Water”. By incorporating social projects into its developments, the company believes that it can spread the benefits of tourism even wider.
Previous initiatives have included donating medical supplies and electric vehicles to support the fight against the global pandemic in the Maldives. They have also supported waste management in southern Thailand by collecting over 8,000kg of marine debris in Koh Phi Phi in 2021 and helped with supporting more than 30 local families who provide longtail boat services at SAii Phi Phi Island Village.
“We are delighted to start work on the Picnic Park, which will become an important recreational facility for the people of Malé. All too often, local people do not feel the benefits of tourism. This problem is especially common in island resort areas, where visitors are often separated from their hosts.
At S Hotels & Resorts, we want to do things a little differently. CROSSROADS Maldives is a fully-integrated lifestyle destination where guests can enjoy world-class tourism experiences while connecting with the Maldivian population and learning about their culture. By weaving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals into our operations, we strive to make a real difference in people’s lives and have a long-term positive impact wherever we do business,” said Dirk De Cuyper, CEO, S Hotels & Resorts.
The winner of the “Best Leisure Development Maldives (Five-Star)” title at the Asia Pacific Property Awards 2021-2022, CROSSROADS Maldives is home to The Marina @ CROSSROADS, Picnic Park and two exceptional resorts: SAii Lagoon Maldives, a five-star lifestyle retreat, and Hard Rock Hotel Maldives, the iconic music-themed brand’s first Maldivian property. Construction work recently commenced on the project’s third island, home to SO/ Maldives, a brand-new luxury resort.
For more information about S Hotels & Resorts, please visit www.shotelsresorts.com.
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Pictured (from left): Mr. Tolga Unan, Managing Director of Hard Rock Hotel Maldives and The Marina @ CROSSROADS; Mr. Ahmed Tholhath, Director General of the Maldivian government’s Ministry of National Planning, Housing & Infrastructure; and Mr. Stefano A. Ruzza, Senior Vice President of Operations, S Hotels & Resorts.